House Republicans voted to approve the “Limit, Save, and Grow Act” on April 26 to temporarily lift the debt limit in exchange for reducing fiscal year (FY) 2024 spending to FY22 levels and capping future spending increases at 1% annually for 10 years, which would result in at least a 23% reduction in funding for key housing and homelessness programs. According to HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge, such cuts would “represent the most devastating impacts in HUD's history” and “make it impossible to stave off mass evictions.” Nearly 1 million households could lose HUD rental assistance, and nearly 120,000 fewer people experiencing homelessness would be served. The bill would also rescind unobligated COVID-19-relief funding and put in place rigid work requirements for some anti-poverty programs, among other harmful provisions.
While the Republican bill is unlikely to pass in the Senate, its passage in the House puts more pressure on President Biden and Senate Democrats to negotiate with Speaker McCarthy over spending cuts to key programs. Congressional leaders must reach a deal to lift the debt ceiling by as soon as June 1, according to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, or risk a default, which could cause widespread economic turmoil. President Biden is expected to sit down with Congressional leaders - including Speaker McCarthy, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) - today (May 9) to begin debt ceiling negotiations.
Members of Congress must look beyond dollar amounts and grasp the human cost of the House Republican proposal. Such steep budget cuts would make it much harder for people experiencing homelessness to find stable homes and put hundreds of thousands of the lowest-income renters at risk of eviction and homelessness. Housing provides the foundation for stability in all other aspects of life. Many households, if they were to lose HUD assistance, would struggle to put food on the table, stay healthy, and access employment and educational opportunities.
Please reach out to the NLIHC Field Team at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions. Thank you for your advocacy!